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Table 2 Highly Sensitive Search Strategy for identifying off-label drug use reports in OvidSP EMBASE: sensitivity-maximizing version

From: Search strategies to identify reports on “off-label” drug use in EMBASE

  Search query Cumulative number of relevant records retrieved Cumulative number of records retrieved Cumulative sensitivity/full set (%) Cumulative sensitivity/EMBASE set (%) Cumulative Precision (%)
1 off label*.af. 3150 3577 77.45 81.90 88.06
2 (off adj1 label).mp. 3152 3581 77.50 81.96 88.02
3 (drug adj2 label adj2 us*).af. 3153 3617 77.53 81.98 87.17
4 unlicense*.af. 3279 4320 80.62 85.26 75.90
5 unapprove*.af. 3445 4635 84.71 89.57 74.33
6 (label adj3 indication*).af. 3450 4667 84.83 89.70 73.92
7 off li?en?e*.af. 3509 4742 86.28 91.24 74.00
8 ((no* licen?ed for adj3 use*) not now licen?ed).af. 3560 4825 87.53 92.56 73.78
9 ((inappropriate us* and indication) not (antibiotic* or antimicrobial)).af. 3609 4964 88.74 93.84 72.70
10 ((appropriate* adj3 prescri*) and indication).af. 3648 5081 89.70 94.85 71.80
11 (outside adj3 licen?e*).af. 3665 5110 90.12 95.29 71.72
12 unlabel* us*.af. 3692 5140 90.78 96.00 71.83
13 labeled indication*.af. 3703 5169 91.05 96.28 71.64
14 (inappropriate indication*).af. 3719 5294 91.44 96.70 70.25
15 nonapprove*.af. 3737 5337 91.89 97.17 70.02
16 registered indication*.af. 3752 5367 92.25 97.56 69.91
17 offlabel*.af. 3757 5372 92.38 97.69 69.94
18 (out* adj4 licen?ed indication*).af. 3759 5376 92.43 97.74 69.92
19 (unlabel* adj3 indication*).af. 3767 5384 92.62 97.95 69.97
20 non fda approve*.af. 3780 5411 92.94 98.28 69.86
21 ((no* licen?ed for adj3 indication*) not now licen?ed).af. 3793 5425 93.26 98.62 69.92
22 (appropriate indication adj3 us*).af. 3796 5432 93.34 98.70 69.88
23 (be???d* adj2 licen?ed indication*).af. 3799 5436 93.41 98.78 69.89
24 (us* without adj2 indication*).af. 3804 5445 93.53 98.91 69.86
25 (prescri* outside adj4 guideline*).af. 3808 5450 93.63 99.01 69.87
26 (out of label).af. 3810 5466 93.68 99.06 69.70
27 (improper adj1 indication*).af. 3812 5472 93.73 99.12 69.66
28 (inappropriate adj5 indication adj2 us*).af. 3814 5475 93.78 99.17 69.66
29 no* appropriate indication*.af. 3815 5482 93.80 99.19 69.59
30 (non evidence base* us*).af. 3818 5487 93.88 99.27 69.58
31 without proper indication*.af. 3821 5498 93.95 99.35 69.50
32 (or/1-31) or (drug* without adj2 indication*).af. 3822 5501 93.98 99.38 69.48
  1. Combinations of search queries with the best sensitivity are ranked in descending order of number of relevant records.